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How to Make it to the Top in Finance Organizations (1 viewing) (1) Guest

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TOPIC: How to Make it to the Top in Finance Organizations
#1566
Re:How to Make it to the Top in Finance Organizati 5 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 0  
My sense of it is that b-schools still have a ways to go when it comes to soft skills.
 
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#1569
mcole ()
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Re:How to Make it to the Top in Finance Organizati 5 Years, 1 Month ago Karma: 0  
I would say accountants need to be visionaries to make good CFOs. Not so much in the same way CFOs need to be visionaries to anticipate where a business is heading. Being a visionary for a CFO is more about anticipating just about anything from a financial crisis to rising costs or projected sales. Anything that will impact financial results.

To be a successful visionary, I believe CFOs need to be able to communicate effectively with all departments in their companies.

And yes, I agree with Karl, honesty is key to being a good CFO. The best accountants are probably the most apt at forging numbers without being caught, so they need to have a certain level of ethics to succeed in the long term as CFOs.
 
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#1717
Re:How to Make it to the Top in Finance Organizati 5 Years ago Karma: 0  
Deloitte's new study, Journey to CFO: Perspectives of Women Leaders, says that while inequities from gender differences remain in some workplaces, most female CFOs interviewed for the study did not see their own development differential in terms of gender. The study also suggested that some industries and and regions seemed to be more open to women in senior roles highlighting technology companies and businesses on the west coast, respectively.

So there's good news on the CFO path for women!

Other things of note from the study:

Aspiring professionals should take four key steps along their path to the top finance office:

Start your career well by joining a large, branded firm.
Step up to the plate and seek tasks that others may shy from.
Proactively own your career by networking.
Always envision the role you want to achieve.

Among key personal traits and values of leading CFOs identified in the study were curiosity, courage, self assurance and ethical responsibility. Top skills included communication and sales, listening,negotiation, operations, conflict resolution, and good strategic judgment and prioritization for decisive choices.

Lastly, Deloitte also tapped current CFOs to identify what they they can do to help the next generation of finance professions. Findings included:

Facilitate networking and training to help bolster professional networks; Implement rotation programs to broaden the finance staff and invite younger professionals into key management and enable experiential learning -- the key things that helped females interviewed for the study were the experiences they accumulated every day as they faced different challenges.
 
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#1836
Re:How to Make it to the Top in Finance Organizati 4 Years, 11 Months ago Karma: 0  
The Corporate Executive Board highlights what it takes to be an effective CFO these days...

"CFOs tend to play one of three leadership roles: consensus builder, process optimizer, or performance leader; but performance leaders (those who drive change, prepare for different situations, identify new strategies, and respond quickly to problems and changing conditions), are the most effective CFOs. Specifically, they build business cases to influence key decision makers through active support of particular strategic choices, avoid a 'wait-and-see' leadership approach, and delegate with confidence."
 
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#1837
Re:How to Make it to the Top in Finance Organizati 4 Years, 11 Months ago Karma: 0  
SherylNash01, your point above re gender reminded me of an article somewhere awhile back that talked about behavioral differences between men and women in securities trading.

The story mentioned a landmark study published in 1998 called "Boys Will Be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence and Common Stock Investment" that documented how men and women differed in their stock-trading habits from February 1991 to January 1997. It tracked 35,000 discount-brokerage household accounts and found that -- drum roll, please ... -- men were generally overconfident in their skills and that they traded a lot more than women, specifically 45 percent more AND that their returns were 93 basis points below the returns of their female counterparts.

It concluded -- paraphrasing here -- that men can get so addled by their overconfidence that it clouds their judgment. Intoxicated, I guess you could say, on testosterone.

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#1931
Re:How to Make it to the Top in Finance Organizati 4 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0  
Senior Research Director Levin Somaya of the CFO Executive Board explains that they have found only 17 percent of CFOs to fall into the category of performance leaders, the most effective CFOs.

Finance transformation is at the top of the agenda for CFOs going into 2010; leading CFOs will balance finance function efficiency with investments in high-impact decision support by 1) finding the next generation of shared service cost savings (e.g., centralizing low-impact, repeatable decision support) and 2) aligning top finance talent with high-impact business decision making. Leading CFOs will also spend a disproportionate amount of time 1) building consensus on current financial risk tolerance and investment headroom and 2) interpreting important structural and cyclical market shifts for senior management and the board.
A must do: Take a step forward in delivering greater value, by creating more useful management reports.
 
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